Military and non-military service
Finnish men have an obligation for national service. The service can be undertaken as military service, unarmed service or non-military service. Women may apply for voluntary military service.
Finnish men have an obligation for national service. The obligation can be met through military service or undertaking non-military service.
Fitness for military service and the start time are decided in call-ups which are sent to all men who are 18 in the call-up year. The date of the call-up is notified by a postal call-up alert which is accompanied by more detailed instructions on how to respond to the call-up.
You can either serve undertake unarmed service or non-military service. You can apply for these on the form with the call-up.
Unarmed service is the same as normal military service, but does not include weapons training. Non-military service includes a training period in an educational centre and work in a workplace approved by the centre. Non-military service cannot be done working for your employer.
Total refusal means refusal to do both military and non-military service. Total refusal is made through a written notification to the place of service. Under Finnish law, these objectors either have a monitoring sentence imposed on them or are sent to prison.
Yes, Finnish women from the ages of 18 to 29 can voluntarily apply for military service by sending an application to the armed forces’ regional office.
The armed forces or your civilian service will pay you a daily allowance during the period of your service. In certain circumstances you can apply to Kela for military service assistance which can cover your accommodation costs or the interest on your study loan.
Your partner can also apply for military service assistance if you are married, in a registered civil relationship or if you are cohabiting and have a child together. You can apply for assistance for childcare at the same time.
If you are injured as the result of an accident during your service or become ill because of your service, the armed forces or your workplace in non-military service will look after your treatment during your service.
If you are still suffering from the injury or illness caused by your service after the period of service is over, the State Treasury will be responsible for the treatment costs of your injury or illness as well as other compensation under the law.
The military service obligation does not end with carrying out military service or voluntary military service. After the service period the person with a military service obligation transfers to the reserves. The reserves can be called up for refresher training and, if necessary, to defend Finland militarily. The military service obligation only ends at the end of the year in which the person reaches the age of 60.
In crisis situations, those undertaking non-military service have an obligation to undertake extra service which provides training in civilian jobs needed in time of crisis. In the event of war, those undertaking civilian service would be directed to do those jobs. The service obligation ends at the end of the year in which the person undertaking civilian service reaches the age of 60.